The Brescia striker booted the ball into the stands and was visibly upset after fans racially abused him in the 2-1 defeat to Verona at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi. It appeared that Balotelli initially wished to walk off the pitch before players seemed to console him during the ensuing stoppage of play.
Luca Castellini, leader of the Hellas Verona ultras who were accused of the abuse, issued a disgusting statement via local radio that contradicted itself on numerous occasions, called Balotelli a “clown” and claims he is not fully Italian, played the abuse off as without “political or racist intentions,” and said the chants were “voices in [Balotelli’s] own head.” Verona president Maurizio Setti also refused to condemn the fans, saying the crowd was “light-hearted, not racist” and had “real sport in its DNA.”
Balotelli has since responded to Castellini’s words on Instagram, where he took to thank his teammates and supporters, who he said “you have proven to be true men, unlike those who deny the evidence.”
He then used his Instagram Story to provide further commentary, including a fan video of the incident where monkey chanting can be heard just before Balotelli kicks the ball into the stands. Balotelli himself writes, “Here, my friends, this has nothing to do with football anymore. You are implying about a social and historical situation much bigger than you small-minded people. You guys are losing it. Wake up, you ignorant people.” To the claims that he is not Italian, he wrote, “But when Mario scored and still guarantees to score goals for Italy, you were fine with it?” He states, “these ‘people’ must be cast out by society, not just by football.”
He finished off his posts with, “Just leave it alone. Enough. Enough.”
Balotelli scored in the loss – his second goal of the Serie A season – in the defeat to Hellas Verona, although the club was unable to snap its six-match winless run.
Don’t let the fact that Mario Balotelli scored a beautiful goal in front of the fans who racially abused him distract from another ugly incident in Serie A.
Balotelli left the pitch after hearing racial abuse from Hellas Verona fans in a 2-1 loss on Sunday. According to Football-Italia, this is not the first time the Hellas Verona fans have been a part of such an incident.
The Brescia man was victimized at the Stadio Bentegodi, and kicked the ball into the stands before eventually returning to the match after his teammates intervened.
During this spell, the match was halted and an announcement was made inside the stadium as a warning to fans according to UEFA’s protocol for racial abuse.
Balotelli scored a magnificent goal after returning to the pitch, but it feels too casual to note it as a just dessert or last laugh; It’s embarrassing that the pervasive cries for better treatment of minorities hasn’t been heard by all; It’s one thing for bad seeds to continue their abuse of players, another for a lack of universal support from his peers on the pitch (though certainly some did).
Mario Balotelli scores a great strike in front of the section of Hellas Verona fans who racially abused him…https://t.co/XGc5sSOXi7
The stats books following this season’s first Derby della Madonnina make two things very clear: at the moment, Inter are the best team in Milan and in Serie A.
With four consecutive victories to start the season, Antonio Conte and Co. lead Italy’s top-flight by two points.
After nearly being up two goals in the first half, Inter broke deadlock in the 49th minute. From a orchestrated set-piece play, marcelo Brozovic’s strike skimmed the heels of Rafael Leão, deflecting the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma, and into the back of the net. An offside call was reviewed through VAR, but the goal stood.
In the 78th minute, a short, lofted cross from Nicolò Barella found Romelu Lukaku, who headed the ball into the far post. The Belgian, who arrived from Manchester United during the summer, has scored three goals in four league games.
Dominating time with the ball didn’t do much for AC Milan, whose clearest chance came late in the second half when Theo Hernández’s strike inside the box hit the bar.
Yet to taste a draw or defeat, Inter marches on as they host Lazio next, while AC Milan travel to Turin to take on Torino.
Juventus 2-1 Hellas Verona
In a game that could have gone either way, Juventus, with its star-studded team and all, walked away with three points against 10-man Hellas Verona.
Aaron Ramsey, who made a shock switch to the Old Lady in July following an 11-year spell with Arsenal, scored his first Serie A goal. From distance, in the 31st minute, the 29-year-old’s shot deflected Verona’s Koray Gunter, beating Marco Silvestri and into the goal.
Ramsey’s goal, however, only leveled the score.
Following a missed penalty and second chance, Miguel Veloso scored what can be the goal of the week: a first-time, left-footed volley into the top corner of Gianluigi Buffon’s goal. Verona, who had a couple of clear chances in the second half, were unable to get past Buffon again.
With three points desperately needed to keep pace with Inter Milan, Cristiano Ronaldo came to the rescue. The Portuguese converted from the sport – his first of the season – following a solo run from Juan Cuadrado.
With positive momentum behind them, second-place Juventus travels to Brescia next, while Hellas Verona receive a lackluster Udinese side.
The former Arsenal attacker, scored a blistering goal in his debut with the Italian giants, who won their first game of the season in the 4-2 thumping of Sassuolo.
The Armenian’s goal was only one of the four that Roma put together in the first 45 minutes of the game. With a headed goal off of a corner kick, Bryan Cristante gave the home side an early lead. Seven minutes later, Edin Dzeko tallied his second goal of a young season.
By the 33rd minute, Justin Kluivert’s calm finish inside the box had Roma up by four goals. I Giallorossi kept pushing, dismantling the visiting with their frenetic pace down the wings, but came up short, striking the bar post in three different occasions.
Despite being outclassed in the first half, Sassuolo’s silver lining showed up in the final 45 minutes: Domenico Berardi. A wonder free-kick opened the scoring for the 24-year-old, who eventually sealed his brace in 72nd minute. The captain has scored five goals in two league matches this season.
With confidence under their belt, Roma travel to Bologna next, while Sassuolo host SPAL.
Verona 0-1 AC Milan
Milan aren’t doing it in convincing fashion, but they’re winning.
A game that saw both teams end up with 10 players, also saw Milan walk away with a 1-0 victory in Verona. The win has Marco Giampaolo’s side sixth in the table only three points behind leaders and rivals Inter Milan.
Despite playing a player down early on, Verona had a pair of chances in the first half. A half-effort bicycle was no match for a well-positioned Roma defense and Gianluigi Donnarumma. The clearest chance of them all came right before the first 45 minutes came to a close, however. In motion, with his back turned on the ball, Valerio Verre’s first touch and subsequent strike would just go inches high of the bar.
As the second half went on, Milan proved to be too much for the home side, controlling the ball and taking a plethora of shots on goal. Eventually, it took a tool on I Gialloblu. In the 68th minute, Hakan Çalhanoğlu shot struck Verona’s Koray Gunter hand, resulting in a penalty that Krzysztof Piątek put away.
Now in sixth place, Milan face rivals Inter Milan next. On the hand, Verona travel to Turin to take on a mighty Juventus.